THE BLOG
10/23/2014 05:49 pm ET Updated Dec 23, 2014

The Bottom Line on Climate Change Costs

The recent report published by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, an organization aimed at helping the world's societies to combat the effects of climate change, suggests that the costs of combating climate change are considerably lower than widespread opinion has suggested. This new analysis is considered to be a real game changer in how we perceive and act on remedies for polluting the planet.

The analysis cuts to the heart of climate deniers contentious arguments that an overhaul of the fossil fuel industry will cream our economy. Not so.

The study tells us that between 2015 and 2030, nations are expected to invest roughly $90 trillion in urban, land-use and energy infrastructure. The report suggests that implementing the fixes necessary to transition to entirely sustainable sources of energy would amount to 4 trillion. So, this amounts to 5% increase of the total amount that is estimated to be spent on new power plants, transit systems, and other infrastructure over the same period. While economically feasible, the report's recommended changes are expected to face a tough political reception.

The report outlines the plunging costs of renewable energy and point to solar technology costs which have been cut in half since 2010. Meanwhile, it paints the compelling argument, known for quite some time that limiting urban sprawl and deforestation are essential steps in combating climate change.

It's going to require the cooperation of countries to cease subsidies for fossil fuels and transition to renewable sources of energy alongside the adoption of a wide variety of initiatives to encourage--for instance-- more efficient land use and fighting forest fires. Add to this, consistent and credible government policies signals, which are essential for businesses and investors to create jobs, growth and spur innovation.

Additional specifics deal with the implementation of a carbon tax and enabling the growth of alternative energies. An investment is required of public infrastructure and is key to moving forward successfully. Another aspect is increasing the encouragement of low carbon innovators thru patents, public spending, and alternative energy research and production.

Action suggested by the report will require long years of hard work and an optimistic vision for the future, but its authors argue that these practices currently have real world proof in major metropolitan centers all over the world. So, a greener tomorrow is just on the horizon, but it's all dependent on how willing we are to embrace it now.